Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Old School Kiln Firing

We go to Old Sturbridge Village a lot. I don't know who is from the area and already knows, but it is a collection of buildings from the 1800s clustered into a living history museum. They always have great crafts and activities for kids and adults, and the scenery is just stunning.

Every fall they host a night time Harvest Party where they light up the park by candlelight and have a bunch of activities through the park. The thing that made Michael and I really excited this year was that they were firing up their old-style pottery kiln.

Michael obviously knows a lot about modern kilns, but neither of us had ever seen this before, so we were really curious.

There it is!

The amount of wood that they needed to fuel this thing was crazy. They had two re enactors dumping wood into it non stop the whole time we were there. It definitely requires a lot more physical work than our kilns.

It works essentially the same as a modern kiln, by heating up the pottery until it's solid and the glazes fire. However, one of the men mentioned that there is very little heat control so breakage was fairly common.

Bummer huh? Can you imagine all that work only to realize a bunch of your pieces cracked?

We also checked out the potter on his pottery wheel.

Sara also got a chance to try her hand at the pottery wheel. Look how sweet she looks in her Denault Studios shirt haha.

She asked the potter to make a flower pot and got to help him make the rippled brim. It was nighttime, and there was not a lot of light, but you can kinda see her in there :)

It is really interesting to see how things were produced hundreds of years ago, and honestly humbling. I couldn't help but feel a little lazy watching those men lugging that wood all night when I thought of our kilns.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the fall. The leaves in New England are definitely starting to change and the air already has that refreshing crispness.


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